A question I’m asked quite often by non-Japanese women working in professional and managerial roles is, “Will Japanese salarymen treat me with respect?”

It’s not a surprising question, given the many stories they may have heard about the challenges faced by Japanese women in the workforce, and sexism is undeniably a problem here. However, it’s important to also acknowledge that the days of women serving tea have been largely relegated to the past. And as a female executive who has successfully worked with Japanese colleagues for her entire career, I’d hate for other women to deliberately avoid working in or with Japanese firms based on old stories they’ve heard.

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